Clear air on Manjunath, K'taka lawyers tell CJI

Clear air on Manjunath, K'taka lawyers tell CJI

A group of 30 senior advocates from Karnataka has urged Chief Justice of India R M Lodha to inquire into publication of “motivated allegations” against Justice K L Manjunath of the Karnataka High Court, to protect the long-term interest of judiciary.

In a signed representation, they also sought the CJI to clear the doubts about Justice Manjunath’s elevation as chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The allegations about him have been made without any basis and appear to have been instigated by certain disgruntled elements in the judiciary itself, they said, claiming their assertion echoed the feelings of most of the members of Advocates Association, Bangalore.

“It is relevant to note that in his 26 years practice as an advocate and 14 years of Judgeship, not a single instance of judicial impropriety had been alleged and that it is only now such allegations are levelled. The timing of the allegations raises serious suspicion regarding the true intent and of those behind it,” they said.

The apex court had earlier on August 11 dismissed a petition, which contended that the elevation of Karnataka High Court judge Justice Manjunath to Punjab and Haryana High Court chief justice was contrary to law. The court had then said the petition was based on incorrect premise, in an indication that the matter (on his elevation) still rested with the SC collegium.

The representation, however, answered each allegation against Justice Manjunath and claimed to have found all those as false and motivated.

“It is very interesting to note that such allegations are being made, not by the members of the Bangalore Bar, but by certain quarters of the judiciary as well as certain lawyers with roots in Tamil Nadu,” it said.

“If such baseless allegations are allowed to be made in public forums it will shake public confidence in the institution as well as seriously dent the reputation of the concerned Judge who has no opportunity to defend himself. It is high time that the members of the higher Judiciary should realise that a systematic adverse campaign is being made to discredit even the honest and upright judges”, it added.

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